My favorite A’s player from my childhood retires: Thank you, Mark Ellis

Last night, my favorite Oakland A’s player from my childhood announced his retirement. Mark Ellis joined the A’s in 2002 and was so consistently amazing with the team until his trade to Colorado in 2011. Even though he wasn’t a big name like Miguel Tejada or Erich Chavez, he stuck through some tough years for the team but remained professional.

Drafted by the Royals in 1999, Ellis came to Oakland with Cory Lidle in a three-team trade in 2001 for Angel Berroa, A.J. Hinch, and Ben Grieve.

“It was definitely time,” Ellis told The Chronicle on last night about his retirement. “My kids are getting older and I kind of realized it was time to do something else.”

What made him so endearing for me was that he always seemed to be clutch at the plate. But his offensive stats aren’t what made him a player with so much longevity, rather it was his defense. His .991 career fielding percentage is fifth best all time among second basemen. He even set a then record .997 fielding percentage in 2006. It still shocks me that he never won a Gold Glove in his career.

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Giancarlo Stanton’s new helmet has a pretty cool facemask

Giancarlo Stanton’s new helmet has a pretty cool facemask

I like the design. It’s personal but not over the top. This is a different kind of look the facemasks we’ve seen before and I think it works well with the overall aesthetics.

For The Win

(USA TODAY Sports) (USA TODAY Sports)

Giancarlo Stanton will step into a batter’s box for the first time Thursday since taking an 88-MPH pitch from Brewers pitcher Mike Fiers directly to the face in September.

The pitch resulted in a gruesome laceration, multiple fractures, and dental damage.

It also had many calling for better helmet protection, something Stanton’s new helmet has.

The custom-made helmet made by Schutt Sports has a faceguard and a nifty letter “G” woven into its frame. According to the Miami Herald, the faceguard has “a carbon steel frame that can withstand 100-mph pitches.”

via the Miami Herald:

Stanton wanted something that would not only protect the side of his face, but a helmet that would allow him open sight lines and freedom of movement.

The one-of-a-kind…

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